Positive start to 2019 for new home building industry as registrations rise

The number of new homes registered by the UK’s house builders and developers in the first three months of the year reached more than 37,500, a 3% increase on the same period in 2018.

Overall some 37,672 new homes were registered to be built compared to 36,508 last year, according to the figures from NHBC, the warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK whose registration statistics are a lead indicator for the new homes market.

A breakdown of the figures shows that the private sector was down by 6% to 26,841 from 28,554 in 2018, while the affordable and rental sector was up 36% to 10,831 from 7,954 in 2018.

In England there were 37,672, new registrations, in Scotland 2,444, in Wales 1,230 and in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man 999. In England the South East saw the biggest number at 6,267, followed by London with 5,625, the data also shows.

The NHBC said that the overall increase, despite the ongoing Brexit uncertainty, is partly due to the low levels seen in the corresponding period 12 months ago when the Beast from the East weather pattern caused severe disruption on sites across the country.

It added that the rise in the affordable and rental registration numbers reflects the continued growth in the Private Rental Sector in many UK towns and cities.

At a regional level London saw a 58% increase compared to the first quarter of 2018 to 5,625 from 3,549 in 2018 and this was boosted by a number of large schemes being registered at the start of this year.

‘Although Brexit uncertainties are impacting consumer confidence and causing some dampening of new build and second hand sale markets, housing remains an attractive asset class for inward investors, which does cause us to be more optimistic about Build to Rent,’ said NHBC chief executive Steve Wood.

‘At NHBC, we will continue to work with developers, builders and housing associations to help to improve the quality of new homes for the people who will live in them,’ he added.